The Polar Bear, sited near Hull’s one-time zoological gardens, was re-built in 1895 by prolific local architects Freeman, Son & Gaskell and its magnificent ceramic-fronted bar-counter, by Doulton’s of London, is one of only fourteen remaining in the whole of the UK. (There is another in Hull, at the White Hart
, Alfred Gelder Street). Other Heritage Pubs with a ceramic bar counter are the Black Horse, Preston, Lancashire
; Burlingtons Bar (at the Town House), St Annes on Sea, Lancashire
; Mountain Daisy, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear
; Red Lion, Erdington, Birmingham
; Garden Gate, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire
; Golden Cross, Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
; Crown, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Other examples can be found at Horse & Jockey, Wednesbury, West Midlands
where a small part on the left has been lost; Castle, Manchester City Centre
; Hark to Towler, Tottington, Greater Manchester
where the bar has been moved; Waterloo Hotel & Bistro, Newport, Gwent, Wales
which has no public bar facility; and there is one in China Red which was the Coach & Horses, Dunswell, East Yorks and now operates as a Chinese Restaurant.
The same architects extended and refitted the pub for the Hull Brewery Company in 1922, adding the grand-domed ‘orchestra’ area to the main bar, and the resulting layout is much as we see today – except that an old-style mahogany ‘Café Bar’ was sadly destroyed in alterations of the 1980s. The fitted seating (and the stone signage outside) are from the 1922 scheme. Statutorily listed in 2005 following a successful application by CAMRA.